The year 2011 has come to an end and it is time to have a recap at how the year has been for the economics of Tollywood. Incidentally, the last two to three years have been quite dull for the industry with many promising films becoming duds, films getting delayed due to various reasons.
Anyways, here is an overview of how the year began, its ups and downs and what notable films had their share of success and defeat…
The year began with the medium budget ‘Graduate’ starring Akshay and Tashu Kaushik and it failed to catch the attention of the audience. To add to the disappointment, it was the highly expected film ‘Paramaveera Chakra’ starring Nandamuri Balakrishna which came as a Sankranthi treat but bombed miserably at the box office. However, the respite came in the form of ‘Mirapakaya’ starring Ravi Teja and the mass masala treat clicked with the audience and scored a hit. The Sumanth starrer ‘Golconda High School’ was also good but though it got critical acclaim it could not garner commercial success.
Another big budget disaster that struck during Sankranthi was ‘Anaganaga Oka Dheerudu’ starring Siddarth and Shruti Haasan. This was the debut of Walt Disney pictures in Tollywood but then the result was disappointing. As January came to an end, it is the surprise hit which came in the form of ‘Ala Modalindi’ starring Nani and Nithya Menon. The film became a roaring hit giving new lease of life to small budget movie makers. But ‘Wanted’ starring Gopichand became yet another disaster.
Taking advantage of Telangana chaos, February opened with ‘Jai Bolo Telangana’ and though one song became a hit, the film was a dud. This was followed by the bilingual ‘Gaganam’ with Nag and it was an average success. Manchu Vishnu’s another attempt ‘Vastadu Naa Raju’ failed to click once again and flopped. Then came ‘LBW’, a commendable film in overseas but failed here. Gautam Menon came up with a variety thriller in the form of ‘Erra Gulabeelu’ but it failed to shine due to lack of publicity.
RGV’s much talked about ‘KSD Appalaraju’ also came at the same time but it became a major disaster. Youth icon Varun Sandesh came again in February end with ‘Kudirithe Kappu Coffee’ but the coffee was not that tasty at the box office. It turned out to be a below average grosser. Sai Kumar’s son Aadi made his debut with ‘Prema Kavali’ and though the budget and publicity was massive, the film became a just average grosser. Overall, February was disappointing.
March began with ‘Aha Naa Pellanta’ starring Allari Naresh and it was a hit. Then came Charmee with the much hyped ‘Mangala’ but it turned out to be a major dud. Kannada superstar Upendra came with his ‘Super’ and surprisingly, it caught the attention of the B, C centre audience in a big way and scored good success. Ram Gopal Varma came again with an experimental flick of sorts titled ‘Dongala Mutha’ and as usual, the hype was good but content was poor so the film flopped.
Sumanth came up with a rather raunchy film titled ‘Raaj’ but that didn’t work at the box office. ‘Chattam’ was another movie which came and went without much noise. An interesting twist was the film ‘Gangaputhrulu’. This was a commercial flop but it gained good presence in the film festival circuit. Overall, March started well but it ended up with more of disappointments.
Summer season ticked off with April and it came with the highly expected ‘Shakti’ starring Jr NTR. But right in the first two days, the film was declared a major disaster. The woes continued with yet another big star movie ‘Teen Maar’ starring Pawan Kalyan. Despite getting good critical reviews, the film could not score success. It was only the arrival of ‘Mr Perfect’ starring Prabhas which brought some respite as it became a good hit. The external factors played a key role in making this a success. But the woes continued with another big star film ‘Nenu Naa Rakshasi’ starring Rana and directed by Puri Jagannadh. Despite all the hype, the film became a major dud. So, April turned out to be a disappointment again.
May came with ‘100% Love’ starring Naga Chaitanya and though it got average reviews, the film picked up in the later days and scored a big hit. This was followed by Allari Naresh’s ‘Seema Tapakaya’ which also garnered decent success. The positive graph continued with the dubbed film ‘Rangam’ and it became a very big hit. Same was the case with another dubbed film ‘Ragini MMS’ a horror treat which clicked well. But Tollywood troubles continued with yet another big one ‘Veera’ starring Ravi Teja struggling to make break even. Meanwhile, Kollywood wave continued with ‘Vaishali’ a dubbed film getting above average success. The month ended with Srikanth and Tashu Kaushik’s ‘Dussasana’ directed by Posani which as usual turned out to be a crazy flop. This was followed by another film ‘Vykuntapali’ starring Krishnudu and Tashu Kaushik which had a good concept but poor execution resulting in a flop. Overall, May was a month for dubbed films while Tollywood was going down.
June began with ‘Babloo’ starring few fresh faces and it was a dud as expected. But the big blow came when the much awaited ‘Badrinath’ starring Allu Arjun turned out to be a average grosser. The Kollywood flavour was also there with Bala’s ‘Vaadu Veedu’ scoring a flop. Then came Jagapathi Babu with ‘Nagaram Nidrapotunna Vela’ a major failure again. Siddarth’s bilingual ‘180’ had some promise before release but it could not reach the success mark at all. So, June also turned out to be a below average month for Tollywood.
The month of July came with ‘Virodhi’ by national award winner Neelakantha but it was not upto the mark. The film was more of an offbeat genre. Varun came again with ‘Brahmi Gadi Katha’ and it bombed without a trace. The oxygen came with the dubbed horror flick ‘Kanchana’ which roared at the box office. ‘Nanna’ was yet another brilliant film which didn’t get the required publicity and success but touched the hearts of audience. Jagapathi Babu’s ‘Key’ flunked miserably.
Krishnudu’s magic failed to work with ‘Amayakudu’ and this was followed by Tanish’s ‘Kodi Punju’, yet another disappointment. Another Kollywood treat came in the form of ‘Sega’ starring Nani and Nithya Menon but it could not survive. Overall, the month of July was filled with medium budget and small budget flicks but nothing worked at the box office.
August came with the dubbed movie ‘Naa Peru Shiva’ starring Karthi and it scored an above average success. The flop streak continued for Tollywood with ‘Dhada’ starring Naga Chaitanya, this was a miserable failure. It was only after Ram came with ‘Kandireega’ that hopes brightened. The film was a major hit. A medium budget flick ‘Mugguru’ produced by Rama Naidu didn’t click despite overflowing glamour from heroines. The Malayalam dubbed ‘Urumi’ had good potential but it failed due to lack of publicity and word of mouth.
Another dubbed movie from Tamil came with ‘Prema Khaidi’ but it didn’t get the required success like it got in Kollywood. The Telugu film ‘Mr Rascal’ was another major disaster. Another film which followed suit was ‘Keratam’ despite massive publicity and hype. Sumanth tried once again with his film ‘Daggaraga Dooramga’ but he could not succeed. The RGV protégé JD Chekravarthy came with his ‘Money Money More Money’ but despite its backdrop, it was an annoying disaster. So, August also didn’t have much to talk about.
September saw the arrival of a dubbed movie ‘1947- A Love Story’ and though it had good potential the film suffered due to lack of promotion and failed. Krishnudu’s attempts with his medium budget ‘Naaku O Loverundhi’ didn’t work and he scored another flop. Kollywood star Ajith came with his ‘Gambler’ and the Telugu version flopped while the Tamil version became a super hit. A film with fresh faces ‘Nenu Nanna Abaddham’ came and went without much noise.
Similarly, ‘Akasame Haddu’ also created some noise before release but went silent after release. The dubbed season continued with Jiiva’s ‘Vachchadu Gelichadu’ but that didn’t work at the box office. The turning point for Tollywood came this year with the arrival of Mahesh Babu’s ‘Dookudu’. The film became a roaring blockbuster at the box office rewriting the Tollywood history records. Of course, Allari Naresh could not repeat his magic with ‘Madatha Kaja’ which became a below average treat. That way, September gave a lot of confidence with one blockbuster.
October began with Jr NTR returning in a different avatar. His ‘Oosaravelli’ showed promise at the start but eventually became an below average grosser. The surprise hit came in the form of ‘Pilla Zamindar’ starring Nani. His market value has been ascertained once again. Murugadoss’s much hyped film ‘7th Sense’ opened with good promise but failed to pick up speed in the following days. It became an average grosser. The month saw very few releases and though the big ticket flicks came with lot of hype, the overall result was just average.
November started with a small time flick ’Nuvvila’ and though it had good talk, it didn’t get the required revenue due to lack of publicity and promotion. Many had hopes on ‘Mogudu’ starring Gopichand but that failed to click. Madhura Sreedhar came with his second venture ‘It’s My Love Story’, that turned a musical hit and made a comfortable break even. The notable flick came in the form of ‘Oh My Friend’ starring Siddarth and it was a decent treat.
It was a bit disappointing to see Nandamuri Balakrishna’s ‘Sri Rama Rajyam’ having everything to score a hit but failing to strike the mark. However, many say this is more of a masterpiece and not a commercial venture. Young hero Nikhil came with ‘Veedu Theda’ and it worked at the B, C centres. Nara Rohit came with his ‘Solo’ and the film was the perfect recipe for family entertainer. This got a good response at the start but could not sustain for long. November that way was mixed with hits and flops.
December came with ‘Bezawada’ starring Naga Chaitanya and though it had enough hype and promotion from RGV, it didn’t have enough material to score. This became a dud. Same with ‘Sangarshana’, the dubbed movie from Tamil and its intensity didn’t work with the Telugu audience. Varun Sandesh came again with his ‘Priyudu’ and returned with a flop in his kitty. The crucial film for the month was ‘Panjaa’ and despite getting a strong pre release talk the film really didn’t have it to score a Pawan Kalyan range of hit. This was a disappointment.
A hit in the making right now is ‘Journey’ with sensible script and good performances. ‘Rathinirvedam’ is a dubbed treat from Malayalam and the erotic quotient is working in B, C centres. ‘Duniya’ is another film which has turned out to be a dud. As the year is coming to a close, all eyes are now on ‘Rajanna’ starring Nagarjuna. Already, the trailers are creating some waves and the mark of S S Rajamouli in it has been the key factor. If ‘Rajanna’ scores a hit then 2011 will end on a good note.
Overall, the year has been better in comparison with the previous years and 2012 looks more promising since the big heroes are gearing up to arrive with at least two films in one year. The steady performance of few films in 2011 is also another factor for planning the year ahead with better parameters. Here’s waving a goodbye to 2011 and wishing Tollywood a successful 2012.